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Harlan COVID-19 cases reach 15

Harlan County now has 15 positive cases of COVID-19, according to Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley.

Of the 15 cases, there are nine active cases, two of which are hospitalized, and six cases who have recovered, Mosley announced in his weekly update Monday. 

The eight active cases include a 68-year-old male (symptomatic; hospitalized), 57-year-old male (symptomatic; quarantined), 69-year-old male (symptomatic; hospitalized), 55-year-old female (symptomatic; quarantined), 25-year-old male (symptomatic; quarantined), 20-year-old male (asymptomatic; quarantined), 53-year-old male (asymptomatic; quarantined), 26-year-old female (asymptomatic; quarantined) and 19-year-old male (asymptomatic; quarantined). 

Mosley said seven of the nine active cases are from the same geographic area of the county involving Cumberland, Benham and Lynch, one of which is an employee at Cumberland Elementary School. 

The Harlan County School District announced the positive case shortly after Mosley made his announcements. The district said there has been misinformation spread indicating the employee was preparing and distributing food to students. The district said that was not true, and that meals have not been sent to students for roughly two weeks now.

A press release from the school district said Cumberland Elementary is taking “extra precautions to clean and sanitize the building.”

“If you were a close contact of any of the positive cases, the Health Department will reach out to you as part of their contact tracing process,” Mosley said. “More than 100 people are currently quarantined in the county that were contacts of positive cases.”

Mosley is encouraging locals to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough and loss of taste and/or smell. 

“If we have those symptoms, we need to call our health care provider about getting tested or what level of care we need. If you are sick, please stay home,” he said.

As of 5:30 p.m. on June 15:

  • 1,358 tests have been conducted in Harlan County. 
  • 1,304 of these tests have been conducted on Harlan County residents.
  • 37 tests have been conducted on people from other counties. 
  • 17 tests have been conducted on people from other states. 
  • 1,264 tests have been negative.
  • 80 tests are currently pending.

Mosley said 4.6 percent of the county’s population has been tested, with 1.1 percent testing positive. This does not include tests that were negative and conducted out of the county. 

“In the last two weeks, 13 cases of COVID-19 have occurred in Harlan County,” he said. “Over this same period of time, we’ve seen 380 tests conducted and 347 negative results come back as well, which is some good news.”

Mosley said he realizes many people are traveling for work, vacation, weekend getaways or to see family since the state travel restrictions were lifted May 22, but urged those traveling to use caution when going into a crowded area, pumping gas or renting a hotel room. 

“I will continue to provide you a weekly COVID-19 update each Monday,” he said. “If at any time during this pandemic, we have another confirmed positive case in Harlan County, I will provide that information to you with an update whenever that occurs, no matter what day that is as I’ve done the last two weeks.”